[BookStrand Sci-Fi Romance]
Incidents at Balboa, a science fiction romance novel, weaves a story about how two people’s lives entangle in a web of unforeseen circumstances that seem coincidental.
Laura Garcia, a thirty-nine-year-old woman, works as a nurse of pediatric oncology. She experiences a significant time loss incident one night while walking alone on the Balboa Pier.
Laura meets Michael Cello, a retired science teacher and writer. He finds her beauty and intelligence captivating, so he starts courting her.
She discovers through Michael’s involvement and interest in her that she has healing powers. Michael persuades her into healing terminally ill children on her hospital ward.
Michael meets Laura’s mother, Victoria, and develops an intuitive feeling that Laura, Victoria, and he interconnect in some mysterious way.
While Michael searches for the truth about his intuition, he and Laura encounter romance, self-doubt, and unexpected outcomes in their adventures together. Find the secret to how Laura's lover, Michael Cello, regains his youth.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
Reluctantly, she got out of bed and had her morning cup of coffee. She peered out the side window and saw Darla, Keith, and Michael out on the patio deck two houses away. She stepped quickly back from the window and then sat on the sofa, with many unanswered thoughts. What should I do if Keith brings up the theme of Thursday night again? Should I lie or should I say that I fell asleep on the bench at the pier? Am I having blackouts? Do I have a tumor?
Doubt overwhelmed her with some fear about her reality. This was an uncomfortable change for her because, in general, she was a self-confident person.
As soon as her morning routine got under way, she was quick to get ready to go outside. Laura was not a woman who spent hours in front of the mirror. She knew how she wanted to look and was secure about it. Her routine was quick and simple—natural, with very little makeup.
Shortly after, Laura decided to go out on the patio. She was not certain about what would happen or how to act if the subject of Thursday night came up but was leaning toward the idea that she fell asleep on the pier.
She took a quick glimpse outside and saw that Michael was just coming out of their house. She checked herself in the hallway mirror.
* * * *
Michael walked out onto the deck with a cup of java and found Keith and Darla were already outside drinking their coffee.
“Well, you’re up early for someone retired,” said Darla.
“As are you two, but that’s nothing new.”
“How do you feel?” asked Keith.
“Considering all the beer we drank, I feel fine.” He glanced down the street at Laura’s vacant patio.
“She probably had a late evening at the Beach Ball last night,” said Darla.
“Damn, you don’t miss a thing. Do you?” replied Michael.
“No, I don’t,” said Darla.
“Give me a break! I know I’m too old for her, but do you mind if I fantasize a bit?” said Michael.
“Yeah, give him a break, Darla. Besides, she doesn’t know his age, and maybe she’s interested,” said Keith
Michael noticed Laura as she stepped out onto her patio and sat on a chaise lounge. He turned to Darla and Keith and said, “Excuse me for a minute,” and then left for Laura’s patio. Keith gave him a thumbs-up as he passed by the front of their deck, and Darla just rolled her eyes.
Michael approached her house and, in an effort not to seem presumptuous, he greeted her from outside the gate. “Good morning!”
Laura looked up. “Good morning, please come in and have a seat. Would you like a cup of coffee?”
“Thanks for offering, but I’ve had two cups already. How did your evening go?
“Very well, thank you. I wasn’t out very late, but we all had a great time.”
Michael felt a little nervous being alone with her. He wanted to check out her body, but he managed to control his impulse by looking straight into her eyes. She had blue eyes, which were uncommon in people of Mexican heritage. Her hair was dark brown and touched her shoulders. In fact, she brought to mind the classic film Laura with Gene Tierney, except for the fact that this Laura was a Latina.
“So, did your aunt allow you to become bilingual? I’ve known quite a few Latinos who aren’t fluent in Spanish.”
“Oh, I’m totally fluent and literate in Spanish. Both my aunt and my mom were bilingual and felt that it was an important skill, so my aunt always spoke to me in both English and Spanish. When I started college, she insisted I take Spanish classes.”
“That is really great. I wish my folks had taught me their native languages. My dad spoke Italian, and my mom was fluent and literate in Polish. They felt it was better for us to speak only English because there were some problems with ethnic prejudices in our area.”
“Wow, what a shame, because being bilingual has given me great job opportunities,” she said.
“I always used to tell my Latino students to go to college and be sure to take Spanish classes. They always responded with the comment, ‘What for? I already know how to speak Spanish.’”
“Oh, you were a teacher. What subject did you teach?”
“I taught science at the middle-school level for about twenty years,” answered Michael, not wanting to disclose that he actually had taught school for thirty years. “I was also a musician.”
“Gee, that’s really great! What do you do now?” asked Laura.
“I’m retired, but I’m trying my luck at writing a novel.”
Laura’s eyes were wide with interest.
“Enough about me,” he said. “Let’s change the subject to something more interesting.”
He smiled as he spoke directly, “Like you. I would really like to know more about you and your background.”
“Well, I think you already know enough about me.”
“Okay, fair is fair,” said Michael. “But I’m not going to deny that I find you to be a very interesting woman.”
“Thank you,” said Laura with warm smile. “And I want you to know that I find you to be an interesting man.”
“Well, now that we have something in common, why don’t we go over to Keith and Darla’s for a while, and then maybe you’ll permit me to take you somewhere for food and drinks.”
“That would be really nice, thank you. Darla was right about you.”
He grinned and reached over and took her hand in his to help her rise from the chaise lounge. When they touched, he felt something like an electric charge throughout his body.